Amid the hairpin turns of the last year’s emotional terrain, there have been a few constants – coffee with friends, my sister’s always gentle and dignified problem solving, and crying in my car on my way to work. In the dark pre-dawn, when the gas station and Starbucks are my breakfast and reason for living, my routine has evolved to a sacred ritual. Engulfed in the sounds of whatever the musical academics at WORT are playing, and triggered by ghostly landscapes veiled in fog or frost, I have been hurtling toward Milwaukee, crying. (You can fill in your own joke here…really, you don’t need my help.) Often, I cried on the way home as well.
In the first year of mourning, I think, alot of people cry spontaneously, over apparent nothings, but I have never been that kind of crier. If I am crying, you can be sure it is me I am feeling sorry for, not you. It was not self pity that fuelled my morning cry time, however. These tears welled up from a source I can’t name. Not sorrow, not fear, not even regret. Possibly relief, and certainly an experience of awe and finality. I looked forward to the time spent in the 190-horsepower V-6 womb with my companion of honest, undifferentiated feeling.
My lachrymose friend stood me up last week, however, and fickle as I am, I didn’t notice until Thursday that I had driven 16 hours, dry-eyed. Although some might call it progress, I can’t say I am happy to have turned this corner. I had wanted to make more of this time, hoping, I think, to redeem myself from the tangle of choices which have defined most of my adulthood. And maybe that has happened, and I just don’t know it yet. But the morning mist has yielded to bright sun, and the glare from the highway is a pain in the ass.